"THE FOX AND THE CAT"
The fox was boasting to the cat of his
clever devices for escaping his enemies.
"I have a whole bag of tricks which contains
100 ways of escaping my enemies," he said.
"I have only one," said the cat, "but I can
generally manage with that."
Just at that moment they heard the cry of
a pack of hounds coming towards them, and
the cat immediately scampered up a tree and
hid herself in its branches.
"This is my plan," said the cat.
"What are you going to do?"
The fox thought and thought as he looked
in his bag of tricks, and while he was
debating the hounds came nearer and nearer.
At last the fox in his confusion was caught by
the hounds and soon killed by the huntsmen.
Miss Puss, who had been looking on, said:
"Better one safe way than 100 on which
you can not reckon."
"HOW PUSSY WILLOWS GOT THEIR NAME"
Many springtimes ago, according to an
old Polish legend, tiny kittens had
been chasing butterflies at the river's
edge and fell in.
The mother cat, helpless to save them,
The willows at the river's edge swept
their long graceful branches into the water,
the kittens gripped on tightly to the
branches and were rescued.
Each springtime since, goes the legend,
willow branches sprout tiny fur-like buds
where the tiny kittens once clung.
"THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER"
Once upon a time there lived a poor shoemaker.
He lived in misery because as he grew old he
could not see all that well anymore and,
consequently he could not work like he used to.
One night he went to bed sad, without finishing
a repair job he had begun.
In the morning he found the job done.
During the day he set out all the tools and
material necessary to make a new pair of
shoes for a rich customer.
"Tomorrow morning, when it will be sunny
and bright, I will begin working on them,"
But the morning after, instead of the leather
he had left the night before, the shoemaker
was very surprised to find a beautiful pair
of brand new shoes.
Later on in the day, the customer went by
the shop to see how his new shoes were coming
along. When he found a very nice pair of
shoes ready, he was very happy and paid the
shoemaker twice the price they had agreed upon.
The shoemaker was very confused and wondered
what had happened. That night, he left outsome
more leather and the next morning he found
another shiny and perfect pair of new shoes.
These shoes were sold at an even higher
price.Now the shoemaker left out leather
and tools to his mysterious helper every
night,and, every morning, he found a new
pair of shoes.
Pretty soon, the shoemaker was able to save a
good sum of money. When the shoemaker's wife
noticed all the money the shoemaker had saved,
she grew suspicious and demanded an explanation.
When she was informed of the unusual nocturnal
occurrences, she proposed:
"Let's wait until nightfall. We will hide and
find out what's happening."
And so the shoemaker and his wife hid and,
around midnight, saw two elves sneak into the
shoemaker's shop. The quick and skilled elves
made a new pair of shoes in a flash.
It was winter and the elves, dressed in
ragged clothes, shivered while they worked.
"Poor fellows! They must be very cold," the
shoemaker's wife whispered to her husband.
"Tomorrow I will make them two heavy wool
jackets. That way they will be warmer and
maybe, instead of one pair of shoes,
they will make two!"
The following midnight, next to the leather,
the two elves found two elegant red jackets
with gold buttons. They put on the jackets
and were very happy.
They danced shouting: "What beautiful jackets!
We'll never be cold again."
But when one of the elves said:"Let's get to
work now," the other answered:
"Work? What for? With two jackets like these we
are rich. We will never have to work again.
"The two elves left the shop of the astonished
shoemaker and his even more puzzled wife
and were never seen again.
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